March 14-After months of uncertainty over the leadership of Europe’s largest economy, the German Bundestag voted 364-315 in favor of giving Angela Merkel a fourth term as chancellor.

A coalition of her own Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party elected her today after a standoff among six parties won support in the general election in September.

Since Merkel first won the position in 2005, she has wielded a great deal of influence over European Union policy. She advocated for open intra-European borders and migration from abroad, against criticism from far-right nationalists in Germany and Europe.

During Merkel’s last major policy speech in January, she called on Europe to take its own destiny within its hands in regards to the digital economy, defense and foreign policy.

Macron’s Rising Star

Meanwhile, while Merkel has struggled to maintain strength in domestic politics, France’s new leader has gained leverage.

Between the uncertainty over German leadership and the pending exit of Britain from the European Union, French President Emmanuel Macron has taken on greater influence. In September, Macron outlined his vision for buffering European democracy against the forces of globalization in a way that supports global engagement. Among a list of policy ideas and goals, Macron called for developing a common defense system, cybersecurity protections, a new energy policy, more aid for populations affected by trade, and migration policy reforms.

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Macron’s cornerstone policy speech at the Sorbonne University last September is available in French.

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About Author

Patti Mohr is an independent journalist living in North Carolina. She has a Master's Degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University and a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and a certificate in journalism from the University of Cincinnati. After spending 12 years working in Washington, D.C., Patti moved to North Carolina where she consulted clients with their resumes and began working in property management. She continued to work on research and writing on an independent basis and conceptualized the structure for a media organization that would support independent journalism. Patti's lifelong dream is to pursue a career in writing about international relations. She has a strong belief in the fundamentals of journalism, namely the pursuit of truth, the maintenance of independence from sources, and in the verification of information. She is a reliable researcher with strong analytical and problem-solving skills.